Spiritual Covering and the Provisions and Conditions of Biblical Covenants in Christ Jesus
If we are to understand the principles and protocols for Spiritual Covering and Practical Conditions of biblical covenants in Christ Jesus then we must be in agreement that they exist.
What is a spiritual covering within the context of a biblical covenant? Some have taught (Shepherding Movement circa; 1970's) that a spiritual covering is provided through the authority structure of the Church and submission to those who hold that authority. The biblical principle is submission to authority. We submit to God in Christ, wives to husbands, sheep to shepherd, leaders to Pastor, the church to Christ and so on. Most overlook the very specific parameters attached to each submission. There certainly is biblical validity (New Testament) and president for that teaching - but the abuses and misuses eventually pushed people away from covenant relationships altogether, most never return. The practical expression of that biblical principle is "chain of command." It is valid and is important but wasn't fully what God had in mind for the biblical provision of spiritual covering. Spiritual Covering is fulfilled and completed within the New Covenant established in and through direct relationship with Jesus Christ (Hebrews chapter 9).
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Here it is then; when we make a covenant relationship with God through Christ Jesus we are "spiritually covered." He covers us, He Shelters us, He stands over us, He prays for us, He hides and shields us. We are covered in our sin and we are covered in our salvation with the gift of eternal life. This covering comes from Christ and in its redeeming and eternal values - is unconditional. However, this spiritual covering comes also with expectations and provisions that require us to keep our covenant with Him if we expect or believe for temporal covering and blessing. Listen to how the Hebrew language intertwines the context of "Cut Covenant" with the context of "Spiritual Covering."
sakak; to cover shelter and shield
kasah; to cover or conceal
kaphar; cover and atone
When the biblical Hebrew writers used these root words for covered in the same context with cut covenant there is a deep revealed truth available for us to understand the significance and meaning that God places on our shared covenant with Him and the covenants we share with others. In this pairing of the two a cut covenant now means;
If you will keep and not break your covenant with Me I will shelter you, I will stand over you, I will protect and shield you, I will Cover you and Hide you beneath My wings as an Everlasting Covenant.
Interestingly, the spiritual covering is upheld by the kept or fulfilled promises and vows made to the covenant made with God and His Word (Word -Christ Jesus). The spiritual covering can be seen and manifested through many expressions and life circumstances; from pardon, to protection, to plans and purposes, forms of favor, blessing and opportunity, access, influence and safety - authority and submission, accountability and expectations. All connected directly to covenant. But it also means that in order for that covering to have any meaning and effect the covenant must be kept and honored in good faith, just as was first intended. For example: The New Covenant begins and ends in right relationship with Jesus Christ. How would we do that if we don't do what Jesus said to do? How do we do that if we do not keep our covenant?
Jesus said, "if you love Me keep my commandments." Then He said, "This is My commandment, that you love one another." When asked what commandments were most important He said, "To love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then... love your neighbor as yourself." Here is how that spiritual covering plays out in a biblical provision and condition.
Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
What are the Practical Condition of a biblical covenant?
The expectations given, agreements and promises made, and the conditions and timelines accepted.
Practical Conditions for Biblical Covenants
Our unilateral covenant relationships will mirror our bilateral covenant relationship with God.
In covenant relationship with God (bilateral) we must destroy the things in our life that keep us from loving and obeying Him completely. To be successful and to be meaningful, this must also be true of unilateral covenant relationships as well.